Arion for 3ds Max 2.7 tears down the obstacles that were common to previous unbiased renderers in terms of workflow. It brings the opportunity to work naturally and comfortably inside 3ds Max, and get the most cutting-edge quality and performance without changing your workflow a single bit.
With Arion for 3ds Max 2.7 it is no longer required to export the scene data to a file, to use a stand-alone renderer, or to go back to the host app to make changes. Arion for 3ds Max 2.7 exists inside 3ds Max, and renders right into the 3ds Max framebuffer. Just by hitting the render button, Arion for 3ds Max 2.7 will turn the scene into a physically-based digital photography.
Native material editor
Arion for 3ds Max 2.7 exposes Arion's material properties through a new type of node inside the 3ds Max Material Editor. These properties use the native MAX UI, can be scripted through MAXScript, and can be animated naturally, including colors, maps, image sequences
The Arion for 3ds Max 2.7material node is fully compatible with both the Slate Editor and the Classic Material Editor view.
Additionally, Arion for 3ds Max 2.7 is capable of interpreting basic native 3ds Max materials automatically. A script is also included to pre-translate the materials in existing scenes to Arion.
Real motion blur is one of the features that make an engine deserve to be called production-ready. Efficient motion blur is simply mandatory for animation rendering.
Arion for 3ds Max 2.7supports all types of motion: pivot-based, geometry deformation, camera motion, and also all of them combined for full-scene motion blur.
Motion blur in Arion for 3ds Max 2.7is physically-correct and happens automatically, taking into account the camera shutter and the motion speed of the entities in the scene. It does not happen as a fake post-process effect, and it does not require multiple pass renders; it simply happens as naturally as DoF does.
Arion allows the user to set a number of sub-frames per entity to be able to balance the smoothness of motion curvature vs. the memory usage and rendering speed.
The Arion for 3ds Max 2.7 plug-in takes advantage of 3ds Max's ActiveShade capabilities.
Once open, the ActiveShade window will catch up any changes made by the user in the scene, providing a view with final quality.
This feature greatly reduces the setup time of cameras and materials, suppressing the need for lengthy test renders.
Remarkably, and unlike other render engines, Arion's ActiveShade and Production renderers are the same renderer. This means that our ActiveShade preview does not output an approximation to the final render, but the actual render in final quality. In fact, the Arion ActiveShade window uses the Arion Production renderer, set to listen for incremental changes in the scene.
Native animation support
The Arion for 3ds Max 2.7plug-in interprets all the animation parameters in the scene automatically and seamlessly.
Because the engine is embedded in 3ds Max with native controls, everything, even the Arion-specific properties, can be animated naturally. Moreover, all scene properties can be scripted through MAXScript if necessary.
Rendering in Arion for 3ds Max 2.7happens in the 3ds Max framebuffer, not needing to export any huge scene files to render externally. This means that (literally) all animation features in 3ds Max are supported by Arion on the fly. Additionally, it is possible to deploy animation jobs across the network through BackBurner.
Sometimes it is required to add extra details to a surface that bump or normal mapping are unable to reproduce accurately. Then it is crucial for a production-proven render engine to support render-time micro-polygon displacement mapping (MPDM).
Arion's approach to displacement mapping is very precise, it supports real curvature without cracking and works on the CPU and the GPU. Remarkably, it is evaluated in render-time, requiring no extra warm-up time or memory.
Arion's displacement mapping allows for mid-point adjustment to comply with displacement maps generated by the most popular digital sculpting packages.
Instancing with support for Particle Flow and point clouds
Memory conservation is one of the most important aspects in production rendering, cost-efficiency and render-farm management. This is why geometry instancing is a keystone in modern render engines these days.
The state-of-the-art implementation of geometry instancing in Arion runs at an incredible speed on both the CPU and the GPU. Actually, in some cases instancing can be almost as fast as if there was no instancing at all, even with full global illumination. Remarkably, the cost in memory of each new instance is nearly zero.
Arion for 3ds Max 2.7supports 3ds Max native instanced copies and also PFlow particle systems. Support for PFlow allows not only for animatable particle systems, but also for convenient scattering of instances for vegetation or crowds.
Arion's render passes have been improved and extended in Arion, giving more flexibility for shot compositing.
Now it is also possible to define shadow catcher materials to render matte/shadow channels to better embed rendered objects into real-life footage or background photographs.
Running on the GPU has serious advantages in terms of performance, but also the inconvenience of a tighter memory budget. This is one of the reasons why we've introduced render-time subdivision surfaces in Arion and in Arion for 3ds Max 2.7.
When saving memory becomes crucial, it's possible to subdivide and smoothe objects per material at render-time instead of in the modeling package.
This feature is unique to Arion in the unbiased market, and makes it possible to handle very dense datasets while keeping the memory footprint low.
Render-time subdivision surfaces are used daily for animation production by the greatest studios around the world. We plan to expand Arion's capabilities in this direction in the near future.
Unlimited network rendering
The Arion for 3ds Max 2.7 plug-in is sold with an UNLIMITED number of network rendering slaves to be used through Backburner.
When the schedule is tight and adding computers to the network is the only solution, there's no need to worry about any licensing issues. Arion for 3ds Max 2.7will simply feed all the rendering nodes from a single master license.
Note that unlimited network rendering is exclusive to Arion for 3ds Max 2.7and is not available in the stand-alone version of Arion.